Bitcoin Has Given Up Most of Its Crypto-Boom Gains

Number of the Day: The most relevant or interesting figure in personal finance

4.1%

That’s how little the price of today’s Bitcoin has increased over its pre-pandemic peak in 2017, showing the recent cryptocurrency boom has mostly petered out.  

The price of one Bitcoin, the most popular cryptocurrency, has plunged 32% in the last 30 days alone, dropping to $20,929 at one point on Thursday afternoon. That’s a long way from its all-time high of nearly $69,000 in November 2021, and barely more than 4% above its peak price before COVID-19, reached in December 2017.

As investors have fled riskier assets recently amid interest rate hikes by the Federal Reserve and signs of a worsening economy, cryptocurrencies have fared even worse than traditional stocks. The benchmark S&P 500 index, for example, is still up 35.6% compared to where it was in December 2017, even though it’s currently in a bear market.

Deflated prices for Bitcoin and other digital currencies have led to layoffs at crypto exchanges such as Coinbase and Crypto.com. That’s given ammunition to critics of cryptocurrencies who argue that, instead of being payment systems of the future, as their promoters tout, the currencies are in a speculative bubble.

The value of cryptocurrency is “100% based on the greater fool theory,” Microsoft founder Bill Gates said at a TechCrunch conference Tuesday. He was referring to the idea that overvalued financial assets can be sold at inflated prices to the next investor in line—right up until the time the bubble bursts, leaving somebody holding the bag. 

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  1. Yahoo Finance. “Bitcoin USD.”

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